Posted by Virginia Wells -

Here are the top ten tips from the book ‘The Life Changing Art of Tidying Up’ by Marie Kondo. These are the main tips I thought were interesting or useful. If you want to check out my book review, you can read it here.

1. Store items vertically

Kondo recommends storing everything vertically. Books, clothes, even carrots. She believes piling things on top of each other leads to clutter. Storing things vertically means you can’t keep or store as much too. She also believes vertical storage leads to your stuff staying in better condition. When it comes to clothes, she says fold as much of them as possible. Hang only the things that ‘feel more comfortable hanging’.

2. Use what you already have around the house for storage

Kondo thinks using shoeboxes and Apple product boxes are the best storage solutions. Particularly for your drawer organisation. She says she’s tried most organising products out there and shoeboxes or Apple product boxes are by far the best.

I’d add, use what you have around the home first. If buying, be clear on what shape and size you need and measure it up. Measure the container and the shelf it’s going onto. Just make sure you’ve done the declutter before purchasing products!

Other good advice was to remove labels from boxes and new possessions when first purchased. Accept them into your home. Removing them, also cuts down on ‘noise’ when you look around the room.

3. Store things where they’re used to reduce clutter

With this one, I kinda go against Kondo in some instances for this, but I’ll give you the tip anyway 😉. Kondo says store things where they belong to reduce clutter, rather than where you use them. For instance, your dirty laundry basket in the laundry. This is in agreement with Feng Shui principles, however, I disagree. I’d recommend having a washing basket in the room(s) that you get undressed. Experience has shown it encourages people in the house, to put things where they belong, instead of dumping it on the floor.

4. Aim for perfection

She says “Aim for perfection. This is attainable if you’re deciding to let something go, or it needs to be put away into its home. That’s all you need to do to complete the job and do it perfectly.” This is a great way of considering ‘perfection’. It’s not too cumbersome!

5. Purge before you store and organise items

Kondo says to get a space in order and set it up the way you want, it is best to purge before organising and storing the items. I agree. There’s no point getting long term storage solutions for things you might end up purging. That’s why when I do a declutter, I use what you have around the house to store things. If at the end of the declutter, you choose to get something more suitable, you’ll know how big the container needs to be and where it’ll be stored.

6. Only keep items that spark joy, and…

She said other than sparking joy, “three other factors that add value to our belongings, are function, information and emotion (and physical value). Rarity of an item can make it even harder to let go.”

So, consider what function an item gives you, the information and emotional or physical value something has. This might make it easier to let it go.

7. Don’t leave your stuff at your parents’ place

Kondo says “Your parent’s home is not a haven for your keepsakes.” I concur. I encourage my clients to take responsibility for their items, in their home or elsewhere. Once you move out, it really isn’t fair to clutter up your parents’ home with your stuff. It can’t mean that much to you if you’ve left it at your folks’ house for so long.

8. Choose what you want, not what you want to throw away

She also says “We should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of”.

Imagine setting up your house with only the things you wanted and loved and needed? What would be in your home?

The rest could fall away.

9. Paperwork – throw it ALL out.

You don’t need to keep anywhere near as much as you think you do. I wouldn’t go as far as throwing it all out like Kondo advocates, but less is more, believe me! I’ve written a few blogs on paperwork!

10. Tidy by Category Not By Place.

This is great for those who have all of a similar item together. So, if your How To Cull Your Precious Stationery Stash is all together – go for it. Sort it out and move on to the next category. This approach could lead you to missing categories all together, which means you haven’t really tackled your whole house. This is why I work with clients, room by room.

Which tip can you take on board and start using to help your decluttering be more successful?

If you’re still struggling on where to start, don’t forget you can call WellSorted.

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